Mamata turns against her own police for picking on Trinamool workers

Published : September 26, 2019 12:29 IST

In Kolkata on February 5, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her protest against the Centre over the CBI's attempt to question the Kolkata Police commissioner in connection with chit fund scams. Photo: PTI

In an unprecedented public outburst that has raised eyebrows in political circles, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out against her own police for apparently picking on workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress and going soft on those of the opposition parties.

“I have information of inaction and harassment…. I have noticed one thing, if there is complaint against somebody from our party, then immediately the police take action against him. But when other parties are breaking the law and doing whatever they please, then the police do not care,” she said, alleging that the police were doing a “balancing” act. “This is not what the police are supposed to do. It seems the Trinamool has become an easy target… after all it will not disturb the administration, since it runs the administration. One should also be mindful of the homeboys,” she said at an administrative meeting in Pashchim Medinipur district on September 25.

The opposition parties are interpreting her comments as a virtual admission of the politicisation of her police force. “The role of the police has become so bad in the State that if one goes to the police station to lodge a complaint, it will not be accepted without the consent of a local Trinamool leader. Now, on occasions when the police are acting on behalf of one Trinamool leader against another, the Chief Minister is getting angry,” said Sujan Chakraborty, Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA and leader of the Left Legislature Party in the Assembly. According to him the constant faction fights within the Trinamool are “bewildering” the police. “For so long she [Mamata] could manage the situation, now it is getting beyond her control,” he said.

The incident also gave the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a fresh handle to attack the Trinamool Congress government with. “It is clear that Mamata Banerjee has been treating the police as her own party cadre. It is very unfortunate for West Bengal that its Chief Minister could never rise above the concerns of her party, and remained only the Chief Minister for Trinamool Congress,” said Joyprakash Majumdar, vice president of the BJP’s West Bengal unit.

Mamata’s comments are particularly significant since they were made in a district that was once her stronghold but is now with the BJP. The BJP won both the Medinipur and the Jhargram Lok Sabha seats in the region in the April-May election.

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